Economic Development

Over the last several months, UNSM has been working with Economic and Rural Development and Tourism (ERDT) and the Association of Municipal Administrators (AMA) to facilitate discussion on economic development at the municipal level.   The Report of the Panel reviewing the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) has proposed a more focussed approach, and 6 Regional Enterprise Networks (RENs), in addition to the Greater Halifax Partnership.

In January and February, UNSM held meetings throughout the province to hear the comments and concerns of municipal officials.  The summary of the notes taken at these meetings attached below.  These notes have been provided to the province, and discussed. 

ERDT hosted a workshop March 26, 2013, and provided some of the answers to the questions raised.  As well, Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (SNSMR) presented a draft model governance structure and inter-municipal agreement in support of the REN approach. The slides used in this presentation are also below. 

As work progresses, this site will post information that may be helpful to municipalities interested in establishing a REN.


MyoneNS Website


Presentation made during March 26, 2013, REN Information Session:  Economic and Rural Development and Tourism's Presentation

Presentation made during March 26, 2013, REN Information Session:  Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations' Presentation

Notes from REN Information Meetings--Winter 2013 


Draft Inter-Municipal REN Agreement


Report Available: "Renewing Regional Economic Development in Nova Scotia (928.89 kB)"

Report from Economic Summit 2012 now Available: Economic Summit 2012--Final Report (1.17 MB)


Econometric Model on the Nova Scotia Economy (provided by Canmac Economics)

UNSM is positioning itself to be a prime resource for municipalities, and to encourage municipalities to use evidence-based resources.  CANMAC Economics has developed an econometric model on the Nova Scotia economy, used by the provincial Department of Finance because of its strong foundation and integrity.    CANMAC has built an extension of the model which allows it to forecast a number of variables of interest to municipalities:

  • at the economic region level (Southern, Annapolis Valley, Halifax, North Shore and Cape Breton Island)
  • population growth
  • labour force growth
  • employment growth
  • Economic output, with information about major investments
  • industry strength
  • at the provincial level
  • industry outlooks (GDP, average weekly wages, employment)
  • overall estimates of CPI, GDP, unemployment rates, information on economic drivers
  • impact of federal stimulus program
  • population, male and female
  • household consumption
  • personal income and wages

Canmac Economics Limited provides a unique strategic outlook service not available elsewhere.  Canmac employs a proprietory advanced economic model to predict the future path of the Nova Scotia economy and the impact of the economy’s drivers on the outlook.  Canmac’s quantitative approach is complemented by the insightful policy implications of the econometric trends provided by Dr. Jim McNiven.  Dr. McNiven is a leading authority on policy impacts that emerge from our uncertain economic world.  Once a year, as part of our service Dr. McNiven will present an in-house exclusive policy discussion for your organization.

Here are various reports from Canmac Economics:

Historic and Projected Charts

Nova Scotia Sub-Provincial Economic Outlook April 14 2016

Nova Scotia Industry Outlook 2016 - 2021


The 2017 Macro Economic Outlook indicates with the $30 billion Irving Shipyard project underway and the promise of increased infrastructure spending from the Federal Government  GDP is expected to average 2.2% over the forecast period.  This will put increased pressure on the labour market – unemployment rates of 3.1% by 2021.

Canmac’s models have the ability to integrate economic impact assessments.  Increasingly, the assumption in traditional impact analysis that all employment will come from the ranks of the unemployed is not tenable.  If one is doing impact analysis for policy purposes, then the true incremental economic impact will require a more advanced simulation methodology such as those provided by Canmac’s econometric forecasting approach.

Nova Scotias Economic Regions Macro Outlook 2017 - 2021